Cadherin 2 a classical cadherin from the cadherin superfamily. Cadherin 2 is a calcium dependent cell-cell adhesion glycoprotein comprising five extracellular cadherin repeats, a transmembrane region and a highly conserved cytoplasmic tail. The protein functions during gastrulation and is required for establishment of left-right asymmetry. At certain central nervous system synapses, presynaptic to postsynaptic adhesion is mediated at least in part by this gene product.
N-Cadherin is commonly found in cancer cells and provides a mechanism for transendothelial migration. When a cancer cell adheres to the endothelial cells of a blood vessel it up-regulates the src kinase pathway, which phosphorylates beta-catenins attached to both N-cadherin (this protein) and E-cadherins. This causes the intercellular connection between two adjacent endothelial cells to fail and allows the cancer cell to slip through.
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